NVIDIA recently announced its latest GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, based on the new Ampere architecture and 8nm process from Samsung. NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang’s presentation didn’t end with the announcement of the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070. But he also unveiled the GeForce RTX 3090, a “BFGPU” offering a “TITAN class” level of performance. What is a “BFGPU” graphics card? Well, let’s learn more about the RTX 3090 below.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 BFGPU Graphics Card
So, what does “BFGPU” stands for? During Jensen Huang’s presentation, he called the RTX 3090 as a “Big Ferocious GPU”. And that’s basically what it means, BFGPU = Big Ferocious GPU. I think it’s more of a marketing term rather than a proper name for a product.
But it’s not named BFGPU simply because it’s a big chunky graphics card that occupies 3 PCI slots, no. The RTX 3090 is a TITAN-class graphics card powered by the Ampere architecture. And it’s the successor of the previous gen’s TITAN RTX.
With the new Ampere architecture, the RTX 3090 features NVIDIA’s 2nd generation RTX architecture, offering twice the ray tracing and AI performance. It also features a whopping 24GB of GDDR6X, capable of reaching up to 19.5 Gbps of memory speed.
Allow me to answer some questions that I think will become FAQ in the long run. It’s easier to digest and get the gist of the new RTX 3090 graphics card.
The RTX 3090 BFGPU features 10496 CUDA cores with a boost clock speed of 1.70 GHz. For reference, that’s 1792 more CUDA cores from the RTX 3080, and more than double the number of cores from the previous generation TITAN RTX and RTX 2080 Ti. It is paired with 24GB GDDR6X memory with a speed of 19.5Gbps, running on a 384-bit memory interface.
We don’t know yet how fast is the RTX 3090 BFGPU going to be. But NVIDIA said that it is the “world’s first 8K gaming GPU, enabling gamers to experience 60 fps in 8K resolution across many top games”. NVIDIA also mentioned that the “RTX 3090 is up to 50 percent faster than the current ultimate PC graphics card, TITAN RTX”. I’m guessing that DLSS was enabled to reach 60 fps on an 8K resolution. We’ll find out when the reviews go live towards the end of this month.
Like I said in the previous question, according to NVIDIA, the RTX 3090 BFGPU is up to 50% faster than the previous generation TITAN RTX. However, what is not clear to me is how NVIDIA tested it. Was the DLSS and/or Ray Tracing enabled during their tests? And what games were tested? Again, we will find out if the RTX 3090 is (really) capable of reaching 60fps on an 8K resolution when the reviews go live.
Based on the specs sheet, it has a graphics card power of 350W. That’s 20W more from the RTX 3080. However, I’m not sure if that’s the maximum wattage it will pull from the power supply. Maybe its actual wattage is higher, or perhaps lower. We’ll have to wait for the reviews to confirm this.
The RTX 3090 BFGPU requires at least a 750W PSU. If you have a lot of components and other peripherals installed in the system that draws power from the PSU, you may need a higher one. I also recommend that you get an 80 Plus certified PSU from a reputable company.
Unlike the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070, the RTX 3090 does have an NVLink connector and it is SLI ready. Being a TITAN RTX replacement or at least offers a TITAN class performance, it’s only natural for it to have the ability to be used side by side with another RTX 3090. After all, this isn’t simply a gaming graphics card; it’s also aimed towards developers, creators, researches who require a lot of GPU power, and a lot of GPU memory.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition has an MSRP of $1,499. This time, AIB partners like MSI, Gigabyte, etc will also release their own RTX 3090 variant. Expect that custom RTX 3090 from AIB partners will be priced higher. My estimate is around $1,500 to $2,000 give or take, depending on the model of the graphics card.
The GeForce RTX 3090 BFGPU will become available starting towards the end of September 2020.
The RTX 3090 BFGPU Founders Edition is a 3-slot graphics card and measures 313mm in length and 138mm in width. You will need to check if your system’s casing or chassis can accommodate it. RTX 3090 from AIB partners are also expected to be big and will occupy 3 slots. It’s also not advisable to install these graphics cards inside a closed-case system, where air-flow is restricted since it is not a blower-type cooler.
If the RTX 3090 can drive games at 8K, just like what NVIDIA claimed, then I am pretty sure it’s more than capable of driving games at 4K UHD resolution. If you got the money to spend on this BFGPU, I don’t see any reason why not.
In addition to the answers above, the GeForce RTX 3090 also features a dual-axial flow-through design that is “10x quieter than the TITAN RTX and keeps the GPU up to 30 degrees Celcius cooler” according to NVIDIA.
When it comes to connectivity options, the RTX 3090 BFGPU Founders Edition has three DisplayPort 1.4a and an HDMI 2.1. NVIDIA removed the USB-Type C for VR headsets, but it does have an NVLink connector for SLI.
Also, if you are wondering why the 12-pin PCIe power connector is located on the middle-side area of the graphics card, that’s because the PCB of these RTX 30 series cards is smaller or shorter.
Speaking of 12-pin, don’t worry if your PSU doesn’t have a 12-pin PCIe connector. I think the 12-pin is only used by NVIDIA on their Founders Edition cards; and an 8-pin to 12-pin adapter is included. Custom RTX 30 series cards from AIB partners are still using the 8-pin PCIe power connector.
Aside from the new design and architecture, these new RTX 30 series cards also offer several new features, which I outlined below.
NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Features
Below are the “cutting-edge” technologies that the new RTX 30 Series GPUs and NVIDIA Ampere architecture have to offer:
- New streaming multiprocessors: The building block for the world’s fastest, most efficient GPU, delivering 2x the FP32 throughput of the previous generation, and 30 Shader-TFLOPS of processing power.
- Second-gen RT Cores: New dedicated RT Cores deliver 2x the throughput of the previous generation, plus concurrent ray tracing and shading and compute, with 58 RT-TFLOPS of processing power.
- Third-gen Tensor Cores: New dedicated Tensor Cores, with up to 2x the throughput of the previous generation, making it faster and more efficient to run AI-powered technologies, like NVIDIA DLSS, and 238 Tensor-TFLOPS of processing power.
- NVIDIA RTX IO: Enables rapid GPU-based loading and game asset decompression, accelerating input/output performance by up to 100x compared with hard drives and traditional storage APIs. In conjunction with Microsoft’s new DirectStorage for Windows API,(1) RTX IO offloads dozens of CPU cores’ worth of work to the RTX GPU, improving frame rates and enabling near-instantaneous game loading.
- NVIDIA Broadcast for AI-powered Video and Voice: Turn any room into a home studio with AI-taking your livestreams and video chats to the next level with AI-powered audio and video effects like noise removal, virtual background, and webcam auto frame.
- World’s fastest graphics memory: NVIDIA has worked with Micron to create the world’s fastest discrete graphics memory for the RTX 30 Series, GDDR6X.(2) It provides data speeds of close to 1TB/s system memory bandwidth for graphics card applications, maximizing game and app performance.
- Next-gen process technology: New 8N NVIDIA custom process from Samsung, which allows for higher transistor density and more efficiency.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Specifications
|RTX 3090||RTX 3080||RTX 3070||RTX 2080 Ti||RTX 2080|
|Fab Process||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||12nm TSMC||12nm TSMC|
|Base Clock||1400 MHz||1440 MHz||1500 MHz||1350 MHz||1515 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1700 MHz||1710 MHz||1730 MHz||1545 MHZ |
1635 MHz (FE)
1800 MHz (FE)
|Memory Clock||19.5 Gbps||19 Gbps||16 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||936.2 GB/s||760.3 GB/s||448.0 GB/s||616 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Max. GPU Temp.||93°||93°||93°||89°||88°|
|Power Connectors||2x 8-pin||2x 8-pin||8-pin||8+8 pin||6+8 pin|
|Graphics Card Power||350W||320W||220W||260W (FE)||225W (FE)|
|Price||$1,499||$699||$499||$999 (reference) |